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TripAdvisor Premium

TripAdvisor helps restaurant owners capitalize on the increasing number of diners

searching their mobile devices for nearby places to eat.

 By Janice Hoppe-Spiers, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media

 Mobile devices are the key to searching for everything from tours and activities to the best restaurant in the city – whether vacationing in a foreign city or in your hometown. According to a recent TripAdvisor survey, 79 percent of U.S. respondents report they regularly research restaurants nearby via their phones whether home or away.

“When we look at 2018, we see further penetration in mobile devices, of course, and when we look at our audience, they’re engaging more with TripAdvisor on the trip a lot more,” CEO Stephen Kaufer says. “That’s a wealth of opportunity for us to not only help them find the thing they want to do, but also cement that full trip experience.”

TripAdvisor Ads 1TripAdvisor has become an increasingly important channel as diners turn to the company’s mobile platform to find restaurants near them. Today, TripAdvisor has more than 4.6 million restaurant listings and more than 200 million searches from people looking for their perfect place to eat.

“My role is to optimize the site for the millions of people looking for a restaurant, and help more restaurants reach the right diners at the right time,” says Mark Goloboy, TripAdvisor senior director of restaurant marketing. “When you look at the key players in the U.S., such as Yelp, it’s a U.S.- and UK-centric company. Our main differentiator is that we are global. You can use our platform anywhere in the world.”

In terms of its global scale, TripAdvisor has a presence in 49 countries, operates in 28 languages, more than 630 million reviews and 455 million unique monthly visitors. The company has influence over more than 10 percent of the $4.9 trillion tourism industry and reported a $546 billion influence on all global travel last year. Sixty percent of people booking travel online went to TripAdvisor during the travel planning and booking process and 74 percent of travelers used TripAdvisor when booking on hotels websites.

In fact, TripAdvisor’s “Influences on Diner Decision-Making” report surveyed the dining behaviors of more than 9,500 consumers throughout the U.S. and Europe, and found TripAdvisor to be regarded as the most influential online dining resource in comparison to Yelp, Google and Facebook. More than 90 percent of U.S. respondents reported that TripAdvisor dining content influenced them to try a new restaurant.

Reach More Diners

About 85 percent of U.S. restaurant owners believe they should be doing more to promote their restaurant, according to TripAdvisor. “They go into the restaurant industry to provide guests with an amazing experience, food and become masters in hospitality,” Goloboy says. “They aren’t marketers and marketing is so far down their list, but it’s crucial to their success.”

TripAdvisor Ads 2In 2016, TripAdvisor launched its Premium subscription product for restaurants that includes features such as an interactive storyboard, ability to highlight the top-three reasons to eat there, a favorite review and enhanced analytics. It also offers an ads product, which provides owners with another way to increase their visibility through targeted sponsored placements that appear in the first slot of a restaurant’s category and in the top spot of the ranked list of restaurants.

The first step restaurants should take to begin engaging with TripAdvisor is to claim their listing for free, which the company was onsite at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show 2018 in May helping owners complete. Upon completion, restaurant owners can opt to subscribe to TripAdvisor Premium and TripAdvisor Ads to drive more traffic to their listing and capture the attention of locals and travelers looking for a place to eat like theirs.

“Think of these products as great add-ons to already great free tools,” Goloboy says. “By claiming their listing for free, owners can start responding to reviews right away, which will in turn help them get better positioning on TripAdvisor.”

Moving forward, TripAdvisor will continue to optimize its site and make the experience better for restaurant owners and users. “We are just getting started,” Goloboy says. “Using the TripAdvisor app and searching on mobile devices isn’t going away any time soon, so we are optimizing our products so that when an end-user looks for their next restaurant – using their native language – we are there for them. We want diners to learn about restaurants, and TripAdvisor is the matchmaker in the middle.”

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